In 1978, and nearly two years into their marriage, my mother and step-father felt a void in their lives. They had decided eating out for Sunday brunch and shopping with their only child wasn’t the best way to spend the Sabbath day. Both had grown up in different faiths and agreed that religion needed to be a part of raising a family.
Over several months, the three of us visited several churches and literally sought after what my mom called “the true Gospel.” My parents discussed attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and soon after, the Mormon missionaries began visiting our home.
While I wasn’t opposed to them coming, I was initially annoyed and really preferred watching my favorite TV shows. But something amazing happened on their third visit. (more…)
Grief is an individual thing. It must have its deep days; it will not be short-changed and it cannot be designed by another. It takes up residence and is resistant to leave.
Letting go is the hardest part. How do you let go of that last goodbye or unrealized dreams of the future?
How do you return to normal when nothing will ever feel normal again?
When someone you love dies unexpectedly, you wonder why the sun is shining. How dare the world move on when it has come to a halt for you? (more…)
During the years of the U.S. presidential campaign and especially during 2012 Mormons and Mormonism were constantly in the news, for better or for worse. Certainly, Mitt Romney was (and is) a stellar example of what Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) can produce — he is a devoted and faithful husband and father, who gives generously to charity, and who has spent countless hours (in spite of a demanding and successful career) in direct service to his church. In his church service he has been the equivalent of a pastor or priest, but all this was done without remuneration. Romney came in only a few hundred thousand votes behind Barak Obama and fared especially well with white Christian voters. These seemed to read some articles about Mormons and Mormonism, and their opinions tended to take a turn toward viewing Mormonism with a favorable eye. “Roughly 4-in-10 (42 percent) now see the Mormon religion and their own beliefs as having a lot in common, up 14 points from 28 percent in November 2011.” But the rest of the American population seems not to have paid much attention. A new, post-election study performed by the Pew Forum, albeit very small (only about 1,500 respondents), shows most people know no more about Mormonism now than they did before the campaign. (Read more here….)
“More Americans mention positive terms such as ‘good people,’ ‘dedicated’ and ‘honest’ than did so one year ago (24 percent today vs. 18 percent in 2011),” the report indicated. “Impressions of Mormonism using positive descriptors is up among several religious groups, including white evangelical Protestants, white mainline Protestants and white Catholics — all groups that favored Romney in the election.”
The study showed that about the same amount of people as in 2011 think Mormonism is not a Christian religion. “Romney was the subject of about twice as much religion-related media coverage as Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential campaign, according to a separate analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Forum.”  (more…)
The Master taught the following as recorded in the Holy Bible, in the New Testament, in John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
A student of the Greek language (the original language of the New Testament) knows and understands that there are different words used to express love in the Greek language. The Greek word that is used in these verses is a form of the Greek verb “agape” (ah-gah-pay) which is understood in Christian theology to be an expression of God’s unconditional love. In other words, what the Savior was teaching His disciples, and the lesson that applies to us today, is that we are to love everyone even as the Savior loves each of us – unconditionally. W. E. Vine, a great scholar of the New Testament Greek language, said of the word agape:
It expresses the deep and constant love and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential love in them towards the Giver, and a practical love towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver. (more…)
In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated: “All human beings-male and female- are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.”
Each child or youth is like a seed. Hidden within is divine potential, divine gifts and divine destiny. We, as teachers, leaders and parents must help our children and youth to develop their divine potential, divine gifts, and to fulfill their divine destiny. But these are not easy tasks.
We can find an example of individuality by observing an apple and an orange. Although they are both fruits, they are very different. We won’t compare an apple with an orange, or expect the orange to be like an apple. For this is simply insane. (more…)
When I was a young man, about ten years old, I was enamored with the Book of Mormon. One of the defining features of the Book of Mormon is that the ancient prophets and warriors wrote records on metal plates. Actually, the Book of Mormon is a translation of some of those records. (See Exodus 28:36; Exodus 39:30; Mosiah 28:11; Mosiah 8:9.)
I was at a book store and I saw a small pocket-sized book with a seal and a key. I did not want my parents or my pesky brothers or sisters reading my record. I also fancied myself as a secret agent. I was intrigued at making my own secret ink and made a pen with a quill from a crow’s feather. I even carved a stylus with my pocket knife and made plates of clay, but it did not work out so well, because they broke, and besides it was hard work. The “key idea” resonated with me, because it was so easy. I did not know the process was called journaling. For me it was just something fun to do. In those days only girls kept diaries, the idea of a “diary” seemed effeminate, but record keeping (journaling) was fascinating and manly. (more…)